Shoosmiths leads on merger for top clinical research firm ORION

Shoosmiths leads on merger for top clinical research firm ORION


Author: Kara Shadbolt

National law firm Shoosmiths has advised the shareholders of ORION Clinical Services Ltd - a market-leading specialist Clinical Research Organisation - on its merger with Simbec Research Ltd.

Adam Dowdney
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Adam Dowdney

Shoosmiths' corporate partner Adam Dowdney led a team of corporate specialists on the multi-million pound deal comprising banking partner Linda Williams, corporate assistant Robert Pook, and paralegals Rebecca Gray and James Arnold.

Additional specialist legal advice was also given from a range of other departments throughout the firm.

The merger creates a full service international contract research organisation with capabilities in both early and late stage clinical development with deep expertise in oncology and rare and orphan diseases. The new group will be known post-completion as Simbec-Orion Group Ltd and will employ around 250 staff across the UK, Europe, Australia and the United States.

The merger was completed through the provision of £12.5m funds raised from the Welsh Arthurian Life Sciences Fund and HSBC Bank.

Adam Dowdney said: 'We thoroughly enjoyed working with Alan Irvine, Fabrice Chartier and the ORION team on this transaction. The deal was reasonably complex in a highly regulated market, but thanks to the strength and depth of the Shoosmiths team and the hard work of all involved in the transaction, we were able to complete the deal in what became a very tight timetable.

'We wish them and the new group as a whole every success going forward.'

Dr Fabrice Chartier, director of scientific affairs at ORION, commented: 'Selling a business is always a complex and stressful process. However, the multidisciplinary team of Shoosmiths' specialist lawyers, led by Adam, facilitated the deal negotiations from the heads of terms stage to completion. Adam and the team proactively advised us throughout on possible options, risks and consequences.

'The whole team has worked very hard and very efficiently to concentrate the negotiation process in the shortest possible timelines, keeping us informed at the same time on an ongoing basis of any key developments.

'It has been a memorable, highly efficient and successful collaboration. Well done to the Shoosmiths team!'

Dr Alan Irvine, CEO of ORION, added: 'The Shoosmiths corporate legal team, led by Adam Dowdney, was always there when needed, providing all necessary support and advice.

'They liaised very professionally with all parties involved and at all times ensured we were consulted as appropriate providing comprehensive explanations to what at times were very complex issues. I can unequivocally recommend the Shoosmiths corporate team.'

Shoosmiths' corporate team was recently named 'Law Firm of the Year' at the prestigious national M&A Awards, 2013. It was also ranked in the top three of the authoritative UK Experian Corpfin Advisor League Tables for number of deals completed in 2013.